Official spring break trips may have come and gone, but the sun is shining and the weather is warming up at home. So soak up the rays and take in the fresh air in your own backyard with three weekend activities that will send you back on a mental vacation.


Nada North Bethesda at Pike & Rose

Planning to celebrate Cindo de Mayo with friends this year? Grab your BFFs for a Sunday Funday down the Pike, complete with a tequila margarita and taco tour (Uber-led, of course).

Start at Chuy’s Tex-Mex to take advantage of all-weekend drink specials, and don’t miss the frozen Strawberry margs with a side of Tacos al Carbon. Then head to Nada at Pike & Rose for the La Bomb-a (reposado, fresh lime, blood orange and habanero syrup) margarita and street tacos – the cauliflower and pork carnitas tacos are highlights. Next, make a stop at Fish Taco’s Wildwood or Bethesda Row location for frozen margs and – you guessed it –fish tacos with blackened, grilled or signature beer-battered fish at the center. Last, you’ll want to land at Uncle Julio’s for a patio party, complete with the Grand Swirl, a mix of their classic frozen margarita with frozen sangria and topped with Grand Marnier. Finish your taco taste journey with Julio’s spicy seared tuna or shrimp tacos. And if you’re still standing, throw in a chocolate piñata for dessert.


Capital Crescent Trail

For a family-friendly and scenic outdoor excursion, start your morning on the Capital Crescent bike trail with a ride from Bethesda, down to the Potomac River in the District, and back again.

You’ll of course need energy and sustenance after the 11-mile journey, so make a stop at Quartermaine for your pre-bike latte fix and Bethesda Bagels for breakfast sandwiches to-go (bacon, egg, and cheese, please!). Then head out on the trail path across the street. On your way into D.C., you’ll ride alongside the canal and pass dozens of points of interest until you reach the trailhead, right by Key Bridge Boathouse. There you can take a break to enjoy your bagel sandwiches with sweeping views of the Potomac River. And, if you’re interested in even more activities before you head back to Bethesda, rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, and you’ll feel like you biked all the way to the beach!


Brookside Gardens

Looking for the perfect outdoor date for two? Pack a picnic and head to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD’s Regional Park. The 50-acre public garden features themed areas like the Azalea Garden, Rose Garden, and Japanese Style Garden, so you can set up to snack among spring’s peak blooms.

For starters, prep for your picnic with all the necessities – grab your blanket (we like this one by ENO Islander with LED lighting, available at REI), pick your basket (this Allagash pack basket from L.L. Bean makes transport easy with its backpack straps), and then hit Trader Joe’s for all the snacks. A few of our favorite nibbles: Spicy Avocado Hummus with tortilla chips and veggie sticks; Fruit & Nut Crisps with manchego cheese and chorizo; Smoked Salmon Trio on crostini topped with cream cheese and Everything But the Bagel seasoning; Peanut Butter Blondies spread with Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter; and Speculoos Cookie Butter with strawberries. Head to your garden of choice, pick a plot to enjoy your picnic, then be sure to check out the Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly Exhibit for the most super-natural and romantic dose of spring you could ask for.